The creative agency for film, theatre and television.


John Arden


Writers: Playwrights

John is the author of a variety of plays, including ALL FALL DOWN, which appeared in 1955, SERJEANT MUSGRAVE'S DANCE (1959), LIVE LIKE PIGS, and THE NON-STOP CONNOLLY SHOW, co-authored and co-produced in 1975 with his wife Margaretta D'Arcy. THE BUSINESS OF GOOD GOVERNMENT (1960) was their first collaboration. SILENCE AMONG THE WEAPONS, his first novel, was short-listed for the Booker Prize. COGS TYRANNIC, a collection of short stories, received the PEN Short Story Prize and his story, 'Breach of Trust,' from the 2003 collection, THE STEALING STEPS, took the V.S.Pritchett Memorial Prize. BOOKS OF BALE: A FICTION OF HISTORY, appeared in 1988. He has also written drama for children, radio plays and work for television, including, with Margaretta D'Arcy in 1973, the documentary SEAN O'CASEY: PORTRAIT OF A REBEL.

Described in The Guardian newspaper as 'the British Brecht,' Born in Barnsley in Yorkshire, Arden attended Sedbergh School, Yorkshire and studied architecture at King's College Cambridge and the Edinburgh College of Art. Fellow in playwriting at Bristol University, 1959-60 and visiting lecturer in politics and drama, New York University, (1967) he was a founding member of the Theatre Writers' Group, which became the Theatre Writers' Union. He lived in Ireland for four decades.

LIVE LIKE PIGS: “an amazing and lyrical play… beautifully poised between farce and tragedy” (Michael Coveney, Observer)

SERJEANT MUSGRAVE’S DANCE: “a spell-binding, mind-challenging drama that touches greatness” (Michael Billington, Guardian)